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Old 05-18-2012, 01:02 PM   #1
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Default Sanitize kegging system

So I have recently been getting back in to brewing. A couple years ago I got a bug in my routine somehow and ended u having every batch go off after about 3 months in the keg. It took a long time to trace down the problem but it seems to be in the kegging system. I've been bottling batches recently and they seem to be turning out fine.

I'd like to sanitize the whole kegging system from regulator to posts to kegs. I've done this before and it didn't fix the problem, but I was unable to really sanitize the regulator.

My current thought it to use new hoses on everything. I'd vacuum pack my regulator and my disconnects and throw them in my brew kettle in boiling water. Not sure if this will ruin the regulator, but I need to do something.

Any experience getting your whole kegging system bug-free?



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Old 05-18-2012, 01:28 PM   #2
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You can quite easily take your regulator apart. Just note where all the bits go and soak the parts in warm soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and re-assemble.
Not sure about the gauges themselves. I don't think I would boil them though.

In my humble experience the culprit for infections and off taste more often comes from the beer line, posts and taps etc.
I would disassemble all the posts and tubes and give them a good going over.
Once you are sure you have all the big and visible gunk off everything then fill your keg with your favorite no rinse cleaner and run it through all the lines.



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Old 05-18-2012, 02:43 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by conpewter View Post
So I have recently been getting back in to brewing. A couple years ago I got a bug in my routine somehow and ended u having every batch go off after about 3 months in the keg.
I'm going through the same thing. What does the beer taste like after 3 months?
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Old 05-18-2012, 03:20 PM   #4
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You can quite easily take your regulator apart. Just note where all the bits go and soak the parts in warm soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and re-assemble.
Not sure about the gauges themselves. I don't think I would boil them though.

In my humble experience the culprit for infections and off taste more often comes from the beer line, posts and taps etc.
I would disassemble all the posts and tubes and give them a good going over.
Once you are sure you have all the big and visible gunk off everything then fill your keg with your favorite no rinse cleaner and run it through all the lines.
Thanks for the thoughts. I have not taken the regulator apart before, but I'll give it a go.

I agree that it often comes from the lines, posts etc, but I've boiled all those before and the taste came back.

It is hard to describe how it goes off, it's been described as "apple" by others.
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"People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people." - V

Primary: Nothin
Secondary: Shady Lord RIS, Water to Barleywine, Pumpkin wine, burnt mead
Kegged: Crappy infected mild
Bottles: Apfelwein, 999 Barleywine, Oatmeal Stout, Robust Porter, Robust smoked porter, Simcoe Smash

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Old 05-18-2012, 04:44 PM   #5
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i would mix up some super concentrated starsan (maybe 5x stregnth) with hot water and pump it thru everything for a few hours. a strong alkaline cleaner like BLC line cleaner would be good to use too. have you ever actually disassembled your ball locks (no offense, its just plenty of people dont know they even come apart)?


if you suspect the regulator- instead of boiling it or trying to sanitize it, just get an inline HEPA sanitary filter. then all you need to do is sanitize everything down wind of the filter, instead of worrying about the regulator and co2 tank too.

how many kegs, and what type of dispensing system do you have?

that being said- "apple" flavor is usually acetaldehyde or esters, which are not from infection but from high fermentation temperature, or under/over pitching yeast, a yeast not suited for that particular beer type, or some other fault.

infections typically produce either a vinegar taste/smell, a sharp sour/citrus taste (which could be described as "apple" i suppose), or sulphur/rotten egg smell. sometimes they can produce a medicinal smell (think bandaids and cough syrup), or a hot/burning sensation like sniffing rubbing alcohol.

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Old 06-05-2012, 11:49 PM   #6
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Yes I take the ball locks apart, have taught a few people that myself
Great idea with the HEPA filter, I think that will be perfect. I could put one right before the manifold.

I have probably 10 kegs, I can fit 6 in the fridge right now.

When I bottle brews they generally don't go "off". So that makes me think it is infection. Plus the beer gets very overcarbonated in the keg if I take it off gas and leave it to sit.

Currently using picnic taps, but I do have some perlick taps I want to use, but not until I figure this issue out.



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Primary: Nothin
Secondary: Shady Lord RIS, Water to Barleywine, Pumpkin wine, burnt mead
Kegged: Crappy infected mild
Bottles: Apfelwein, 999 Barleywine, Oatmeal Stout, Robust Porter, Robust smoked porter, Simcoe Smash

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